So, did 2013's last two quarters boost it to a decent year overall?
The third quarter estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) was released December 20th. The third quarter GDP increased 4.1% over second quarter GDP…not a hard feat when the second quarter GDP was 2.5%…and remember Q1 was 1.1%.
The next release from the BEA will be January 30th and cover fourth quarter and have an annual report for 2013. Richard Hoey, Chief Economist for BNY Mellon and Dreyfus predicts “After more than four years of subpar economic growth near 2%, we expect a “three for three” pattern of roughly 3% real GDP growth in the U.S. for the next three years.”
The slow growth in 2013 did ease capacity woes, but as the 4th quarter heated up with retail and LTL substitute linehaul, the overall available van capacity decimated and rates went through the roof to lock down drivers.
New hours of service regulations cut driver productivity 7% and the new requirement of a $75k broker bond eliminated over 8,000 intermediaries of the almost 22,000 listed.
Driver turnover for 2013 hoovered at 90%….believe it or not that is an improvement! 2012 had close to 100% turnover with drivers moving from company to company. Landstar’s driver capacity remained strong and hoovered at or under 30% turnover for the year. in 2013 Landstar was named the Best Overall Fleet for Owner-Operators in a survey conducted by the Truckload Carriers Association and CarriersEdge.
According to the America Trucking Association, freight tonnage increased 5.6% in 2013 and according to DAT, there was a 51% increase in freight availability in the open market. This establishes a trend that customers are utilizing more brokers and 3PLs to source capacity.
So, my prediction is that 2014 will not have much GPD growth throughout the year. The companies that will win in 2014 will poach customers from the competition by providing visionary solutions to big problems while being able to service the day to day operations.
People are waiting for you to solve their problems….what are you waiting for?